Back-to-School Fundraising Ideas to Start the School Year Off Right

Everyone likes contributing to a good cause, and what could be better than supporting local schools? If you’re looking for exciting new ways for your back-to-school fundraiser initiatives to get off the ground and smash expectations, check out the following top fundraising ideas for the upcoming school year.

Top 19 Fundraising Events for Schools

School supplies, sports teams, and building renovations all cost money. Money that you can raise through the following events with just a little planning and effort.

1. Field Day

Hosting a field day is a great way to get students passionately engaged with your fundraiser. The premise is simple: whichever class/grade raises the most money gets a field day, complete with games, extended recess, and more! If you don’t want grades competing against each other, you could also simply host a field where anyone can attend and pay either an admission fee or pay to play games. Either way, students will be eager to fundraise so they can get some extra fun in their school day.

2. Brick Fundraiser

If you’re looking for a unique type of fundraiser, you can’t go wrong with a brick fundraising event. Here is how they work:

  1. Donors sponsor a brick or tile, choosing custom text or clip art to appear on their unit.
  2. We use a high-quality laser-engraving process to create each brick and tile.
  3. You display each brick and tile in a public space, such as a school wall or school pathway.

It’s that easy, and your donors will be pleased that their generosity will quite literally last a lifetime and inspire future generations to donate to your school as well.

3. Talent Show

A talent show is a great way to use a little friendly competition to get the whole school community fired up. There are two ways you can raise money, either by charging an entry fee or by an admission fee. If you host the event during an evening, you can open admissions to the wider public, where parents and other relatives can come in and cheer on their kids.

4. Movie Night

If you want an easy and quick way to raise money, a movie night is the way to go. Simply select a movie or two (that you have permission to screen) and charge admission. You can increase your donations by hosting concessions stands for hungry guests. For bonus points, choose a school-related movie to keep the back-to-school theme running.

5. Read-a-Thon

A read-a-thon is the perfect event for elementary school students to get reading for a good cause. Simply have local businesses, parents, or staff members pledge a certain donation amount for every book or number of pages students read. Talk about a win-win event!

6. Silent Auction

A silent auction has appeal for the wider community beyond just the school. You can collect donations for auction from alumni and other community members, like discount cards to a local restaurant or coupons to other local businesses. Then, simply designate a few staff members and student volunteers to host the event, set up the donation tables, and watch as the donations roll in.

7. Yard Sale

Silent auctions are great, but not everyone enjoys bidding wars. That’s where a classic yard sale/garage sale can come into play. Like the silent auction, you can have community members donate auction items. Unlike the silent auction, however, every item is first come, first served. To make this event easily accessible, you can host it in a space right next to school drop-off and pick-up spots.

8. Car Wash

A car wash is great for high school students to practice teamwork while raising money for their school or club, and the wider community will be glad for the opportunity to have a squeaky-clean car. Simply designate a time and place, get student volunteers, and then get the cleaning supplies. You’ll be surprised how many people show up for the chance to support their local school district while getting a clean car in the process.

9. Dance-a-Thon

A dance-a-thon is a fun fundraising campaign that is sure to get your entire community involved. Like other marathon-style events, a dance-a-thon functions by having people sponsor participants. In this case, sponsors pledge a certain amount of money for how long the participant dances.

10. Pajama Day

If you’re looking for an event that is easy and perfect for all age groups, look no further than a pajama day. Students (and staff) will be happy to pay a small fee to roll up into their classes in their comfiest clothes.

11. 50/50 Raffle

A 50/50 raffle is a classic event for a reason; it’s an incredibly easy fundraising idea to implement. Have students sell raffle tickets either at sporting events or going door to door.

12. Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great event for middle school and high school students. Simply have participants pay an entry fee, and then let them begin the hunt for clues and small prizes around the school or community (high school students who can drive only).

13. Obstacle Course

Meet your fundraising goals with a good old-fashioned obstacle course. Allow students, staff, and family members pay a fee to compete in various age-appropriate courses for the chance to win a prize. This event is fun, builds school spirit, and helps you meet your fundraising goals. What more could you want?

14. Sporting Events

If you’re looking for an in-person high school fundraising event, hosting sporting events is likely your best bet. People from the wider community oftentimes love coming to high school sporting events and will gladly pay an admission fee to do so. Go the extra mile and offer concessions like food, drink, and school swag like t-shirts.

15. Trivia Night

If you want the whole family to get involved with your fundraiser, try hosting a trivia night and keep it school-themed for bonus points. Students and their family members can compete with their peers for the chance to win the title of trivia master. You make money by collecting admission fees, and can use part of these proceeds to give a monetary reward to the winning team.

16. Online Donations

Online peer-to-peer fundraising is easy and can happen all year. Simply set up an online fundraising page on your club or school website and let the donations roll in. The most important consideration when accepting online donations is choosing the right fundraising platform to keep sensitive information safe.

Learn more about the best nonprofit fundraising platforms here.

17. Fun Run

Get your student body and faculty up and moving with a fun run! Great for all age groups, the premise is simple: have participants pay a small entry fee, and then let them compete for first, second, and third place awards like trophies, ribbons, or medals.

18. Walk-a-Thon

Another great way to raise funds while encouraging physical activity is a walk-a-thon. It’s a slower-paced event that can appeal to a broader range of people, and it also encourages wider community participation. Have participants walk a certain amount and donors pledge money for every unit of distance the participants walk. It’s a relatively simple premise; just be sure to have a safe designated area for all participants and audiences.

19. Bake Sale

There is perhaps no more classic school fundraiser than a bake sale. From baked goods like cupcakes to other sweets like cookie dough and candy, you can have students, parents, and staff donate goodies to your event to keep costs down. It’s a sweet way to raise funds!

Getting Back to School with Fundraising Brick

We help you make your fundraising efforts count. When you partner with Fundraising Brick for your next back-to-school fundraiser, we’ll help you every step of the way, from creating your online donation portal to offering 24/7 chat support to providing you with a template library full of promotional fundraising flyers, posters, and videos to spread the word about the event by mail, email, and social media.

Contact us today so we can get started on your fundraising campaign!

Further reading:

Go to Top